Lake District Visitor Guide
From Beatrix Potter to breathtaking landscapes, the 2,360 square kilometre World Heritage Lake District National Park has it all!
With its 16 lakes and 13 tarns, this area of Cumbria, accessible from both the north and south from the M6 motorway, is one of the most visited in England, yet it also provides an escape to peace and tranquillity amongst stunning scenery.
From bustling Bowness on its shores, Lake Windermere is home to steamers, launches and self-drive boats. Catch a steamer from the town's jetty, Ambleside or Lakeside Pier to explore the lake and combine it with a ride on the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway. Arthur Ransome based "Swallows and Amazons" on both Coniston and Windermere, on whose shores is the all-weather Windermere Jetty Museum, housing a wide collection of historic boats from the area and beyond, including Beatrix Potter's rowing boat. Beatrix Potter World in Bowness, nearby Hill Top Farm and Beatrix Potter Gallery at Hawkeshead are a must for fans of an earlier "Potter" era.
Located in Coniston village, at the foot of The Old Man of Coniston and one location of the BBC series "The A Word", the refurbished Ruskin Museum tells the story of Donald Campbell's attempts at the water speed record on Coniston Water. Today an elegant Victorian Steam Yacht and The Coniston Launch allow a more leisurely way to take in the breathtaking surrounding scenery.
Thanks to William Wordsworth, Grasmere is one of the Lake District's most popular villages. The Wordsworth Daffodil Garden near the graves of both Wordsworth and his wife in the adjacent St Oswald's Church provides a moment or two of peace before a visit to neighbouring Sarah Nelson's Gingerbread Shop.
Providing water to the Manchester area, Thirlmere, lies to the west of Helvellyn.
At the foot of Ullswater, Glenridding is the main access point for England's third highest peak Helvellyn with its famous Striding Edge. Ullswater Steamers offer a more leisurely exploration of the area whilst the 20 mile circular Ullswater Way combining bus and boat trips is also popular.
Follow the east road along the shallow waters of Bassenthwaite Lake, past Skiddaw, to the market town of Keswick. Catch a performance at the Theatre by the Lake, visit the Pencil Museum, enjoy an extensive range of water and land-based activities, a less active boat trip around close-by Derwentwater or a walk in the surrounding fells.
Perfect for day-trips or longer breaks, camping or plush hotel stays, picnics or dining out, bustling towns or peaceful escapes, The Lake District has it all.
Holidays in the Lake District
Check out tours to the Lake District in our selection of touring holidays in the UK
For where to stay in hotels, bed and breakfasts and cottages follow links to our specialist accommodation partners below: